Sam Waardenburg produced an outstanding performance as Miami University Hurricanes defeated Iowa State 70-56 in an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 match-up in Chicago.
The former Junior Tall Black finished with 13 points (5/9FG), a team high 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 35 minutes of high quality basketball.
The result means10th seeded Miami advance to the Elite 8, at the ‘Big Dance’, for the first time in programme history where they will face a number one seed Kansas for a spot in the semi-finals.
“Iowa State’s a great team we knew they were going to come out and pressure us. We had the most turnovers we’ve had this tournament but we kept our identity and forced 18 turnovers as well. We did a great job executing the game plan,” said Waardenburg.
“It’s the energy from the bench and the energy from these guys that really swings you,” Waardenburg said of his teammates.
“They’ve been amazing and they’ve been like this all season long.”
Miami’s run in the play-offs means that we have Kiwi representation in the quarter-finals of the Men’s NCAA Division I Championship for the first time since Jack Salt and the University of Virginia Cavaliers won the title in 2019.
The one-time Rangitoto College and Harbour standout eclipsed 700 points and reached 500 rebounds at Miami, scoring in double figures for the 13th time this season and the 25th time in his four-year collegiate career.
Waardenburg now has 706 career points and keen to add more in the quarter-final tie against Kansas tomorrow.